A Cure For The Monday's
A visit to an office for career exploration might not sound like the best way to spend your Monday morning if you are a high school freshman. Unless, of course, you’re visiting LeBron’s office, which is also the headquarters of the World Championship Cleveland Cavaliers franchise.
With the bright and rising Cleveland sun shining in their eyes, our I Promise freshmen stampeded down Ontario Street with a fervor and determination not often expressed by a high school student on a Monday morning. Throngs of students cascaded into the empty arena. With the echoes of their excitement bouncing off of the round walls, The Q came alive.
Their morning started on hallowed ground: the practice gym floor. Acutely aware of their location, the students sat attentively – as if to pay homage to the countless hours of toil and work that took place below their feet, waiting for the program to begin. Their host was immediately recognized. The voice of the Q himself, Ahmaad Crump, took the stage. Flanked by the Cavaliers Scream Team and Cavs Girls, Ahmaad and the crowd broke the day’s final silence with raucous cheering and applause, "Who’s ready to get started?" TVs came to life on all sides of the crowd as Ahmaad narrated a special QTV production that gave the students their first glimpse behind the wine and gold curtain.
Led by members of the Scream Team and Cavaliers Girls, six teams of students weaved their way through the back halls of the Q where they found their respective experience stations. With his back to the 2016 Larry O’Brian Trophy, the chief legal counsel for the Cavs discussed the ins and outs of their recent blockbuster naming rights deal with Goodyear. A small voice sparked a collective laugh, "That’s one expensive patch!"
Throughout the day, each student was given unprecedented access to building operations, security, events, QTV, hospitality services, retail, broadcasting, human resources, guest services, sales, public relations, finance and accounting, legal services, entertainment, and marketing through the eyes of various Cavs employees.
No trip to the office would be complete without lunch, and no trip to LeBron’s office would be complete without Swenson’s. LeBron’s favorite burger team made the journey north in their food truck to bring his kids a hot taste of home. Sitting in the concourse, students, performers, and staff alike joined in the delicious festivity. For a moment, it seemed as if the many functions of the ever-busy arena came to a halt for a family meal.
Like color commentators heading toward the booth, students filed out of the arena taking turns as they gave animated recounts of their day. "They put their sales numbers right there," recalling his time on the sales floor, Bryce drew an imaginary television with his hands, "Literally, right there!" A voice piped up from the group, "I’m glad our teachers don’t do that." Though they were together for a few short hours, the Cavaliers team left a life-long impression on our students who all now know there are hundreds of ways to be part of a professional sports team that don’t require a jersey.
We are wholly thankful for the countless Cavs team members who made our first Front Office Freshmen experience outing a success. You make us all proud to say, "We are family!"